What you eat affects everything about you: energy level, mood, how you look, and overall health. If you pay attention, you can actually notice a difference in how you feel after you eat certain foods.
Caffeine is obvious. Sugar is more complex: first we feel full of energy—zippy—then we crash and feel lethargic and weak. Of course, this leads to us wanting more sugar to bring up the energy level.
A vicious cycle, there are other ramifications we may instinctively know but don’t openly recognize: a recent study from UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles) demonstrates that a diet high in sugar makes us unmotivated and lazy.
Detrimental Effects of Junk Food
Many studies have linked eating sugar to weight gain and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer. Others connect sugar to neurological impairment, including cognitive decline.
The new study reflects a nuance of the effects of sugar that wasn’t really documented before. Exploring the “chicken-and-egg” conundrum of obesity and associated conditions (depression, fatigue, lack of motivation), the question under scrutiny was whether obesity causes these consequences or the other way around? Scientists sought to discover the impact of processed versus unprocessed foods on cognition.
Two groups of rats were fed different diets: one low in fat but high in processed, simple carbohydrates (sugar) and the other a healthy, balanced rat diet of unprocessed foods that included complex carbohydrates. What the study found was that, after three months, there was a noticeable difference between the two groups—the rats on the low-fat, high-sugar diet were progressively gaining more weight.